French President Francois Hollande said he “deplores” Closer magazine’s seven-page photo expose of an affair he’s allegedly having with actress Julie Gayet, according to a statement he gave Agence France-Presse.
Hollande “strongly deplores the attack on his private life which is his right, like that of all citizens” and is considering legal action, according to the statement, which was given to AFP in his own name rather than as an official press release from the presidency.
The 59-year-old president isn’t married, although he has been in a long-term relationship with journalist Valerie Trierweiler. Before that, he was with former French presidential candidate Segolene Royal, with whom he has four children. The two were not married. Gayet, 41, had filed a legal complaint with the Paris prosecutor in March against Internet rumors on her alleged affair with Hollande.
The Closer expose is being relayed across the French media and the Internet, showing how private lives of the country’s politicians have become increasingly public in recent years. In contrast with Hollande, Francois Mitterrand was able to keep both his battle with cancer and the existence of a daughter he had with a mistress out of the press during his 14-year presidency that ended in 1995.